The underlying ethos of the firm is exactly that which I had felt during the due diligence process. It is one which provides the foundation for a resilient and professional financial advice service with a focus upon innovation, clarity and providing excellent value for money to clients.
Duchy Wealth Management was established in 2007 and I ran it as a ‘one man band’ until I sold it in September 2017. Running the business alone and being Directly Authorised, with the consequent constant regulatory changes to deal with, became increasingly frustrating, so it is fair to say that this was the initial motivation for looking for a change. However, having made this decision the many other potential advantages of a move became more and more apparent.
After search lasting about eight months, I chose to join AFH. This solution shone out above others as it ticked many boxes for both myself, in the way that I wanted to focus my time as an Adviser, and also for the breadth and depth of additional expertise that it gave to my clients.
However, since being part of what I can honestly call a team, hidden gems have appeared. I did appreciate the quality of the in-house discretionary service before joining, but I had not fully appreciated the opportunity and scope that it gives to offer a true upgrade to the service I can provide to my clients.
In addition, the support of individuals and teams have transformed the time I have available to spend at the front end of being a Financial Adviser, with clients, rather than being swamped by reports and regulation.
I have not lost any clients since joining and in fact, I have gained several substantial clients that it would not have been possible to take on if I had not had access to the AFH Direct proposition and AFH Private Wealth.
I believe the decision to join AFH was absolutely correct and I have been able to continue to provide an excellent service and loyalty to my clients who are very happy with the transition to AFH. From my perspective there is nowhere else that is comparable to AFH in the industry. The business has grown without diluting its culture, it is not flashy, and they did not try to bribe me to join. I was attracted by the personal contacts I made early on in the process and dealing with genuine people.
The onboarding was handled well. I had not thought in detail about the administrative burden of moving but my hand was led by Claire Spillane and her team who were very good throughout the process. The quality of people I met were consistent before joining, and this has remained a reality once I joined. Everyone is very busy, but nonetheless the system is always human and fair which is very important.